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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

11/16/2020 | 05:29pm EST


Tyson's 4Q Profit Rose Despite $200M in Pandemic-Related Costs

Tyson Foods Inc. said Monday it continued to spend on Covid-19-related expenses during its fiscal fourth quarter, as coronavirus infections surge across the U.S.

The producer of meat, chicken, pork and other food products reported net income of $692 million, or $1.90 a share, for the quarter that ended Oct. 3, compared with $369 million, or $1.01 a share, a year earlier.

China to Remain Big Buyer of U.S. Pork, Tyson Says -- Market Talk

0943 ET - Tyson Foods says China's likely to remain a top buyer of US pork exports. China, the biggest global consumer of pork, is trying to rebuild its own hog industry after a deadly swine disease wiped out around 40% of the country's hog herd, and Tyson Foods CEO Dean Banks says that complete recovery of China's industry may depend on eradicating the disease there via a vaccine or some other measure. In the meantime, China has banned pork imports from Germany due to concerns about the virus there, shifting more of China's imports to US supplies, Banks says. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)


U.S. Crop Prices Are Rising, and China Is Buying -- Update

Dry weather, China's push to fatten its pigs and the lockdown-induced baking bonanza are lifting prices for U.S. row crops.

Futures prices for soybeans, corn and hard red winter wheat--the kind used for baking bread--have risen by about a third since a rally began Aug. 10. Soft red winter wheat, found in animal feed and processed foods, is up 22%.

The gains are a sharp reversal of fortune for farmers. The global coronavirus pandemic had cast doubt on demand, from the corn that finds its way into motor fuels to the wheat that winds up as restaurant dinner rolls.

Tyson Says Vaccine Could Help Lift Chicken Profits -- Market Talk

0925 ET - Tyson Foods is hopeful that a vaccine will help revive the company's long-struggling chicken business. CEO Dean Banks says on Tyson's quarterly conference call that not having full staffing at some chicken plants is one of the biggest problems for the meat giant, attributing some of that to Covid-19, with some employees staying home for fear of the virus. Banks says Tyson's hopeful that a vaccine and more-general return to normal restaurant demand will help boost the business in the next year. Tyson earned $86M from chicken in its fiscal 4Q, versus $90M in the year-ago period. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)


Livestock Futures Finish Higher -- Market Talk

15:22 ET - Livestock futures trading on the CME finished higher--with the most-active live cattle futures contract closing 0.5% higher at $1.10425 per pound and the most-active lean hogs contract up 0.4% 65.15 cents per pound. Livestock traders are anticipating an uptick in demand on the consumer level for meat--although how that transpires remains unclear. "There is a lot of confusion out there as Covid has scrambled the food distribution system," says Steiner Consulting Group. "Foodservice demand remains hostage to COVID restrictions and weather and school lunch demand is even harder to figure out." According to the firm, feature activity for pork in particular has yet to rise, even though the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are right around the corner. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Nov 16 
Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Nov 16       +$ 43.67            +$ 45.73 
Nov 13       +$ 36.72            +$ 42.18 
Nov 12       +$ 43.13            +$ 49.41 
* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production. 
A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of 
production of the animals. 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
          For Today              Choice   94.2 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select   99.1 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday rose 97 cents per hundred pounds, to $226.95, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $2.89 per hundred pounds, to $212.35. The total load count was 128. Wholesale pork prices rose $1.65, to $80.34 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-16-20 1728ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -4.53% 500.5 End-of-day quote.3.41%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.98% 137.2 End-of-day quote.-2.21%
LEAN HOGS (HE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 2.86% 70.05 End-of-day quote.-3.10%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 2.15% 116.55 End-of-day quote.1.02%
SOYBEAN MEAL FUTURES (ZM) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -3.93% 421 End-of-day quote.0.87%
TYSON FOODS, INC. 0.94% 66.52 Delayed Quote.3.23%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -3.97% 634.5 End-of-day quote.-0.94%
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